Cosmetic Chemistry 101: Triclosan
Where: An ingredient in nearly every liquid hand soap and dishwashing detergent. It’s also found in skin care especially face wash and acne products, deodorant, oral care products and many other personal care and home products including children’s toys.
Why: The Environmental Protection Agency classifies this substance as a probable human carcinogen. Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. Even low levels of triclosan has been linked to thyroid function. Triclosan ends up in all our bodies of water and is highly toxic to aquatic life. In a U.S. Geological Survey study of 95 different organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, triclosan was one of the most frequently detected compounds, and in some of the highest concentrations,” according to the NCAMP. Additionally, the widespread use of triclosan creates the risk of breeding new, resistant superbugs.
Do: Avoid all products that make “antibacterial” claims (unless they are using herbs to accomplish it). Do not use antibacterial soaps in the home. Read the ingredients labels of all consumer products in order to make sure they do not contain triclosan, triclocarban, Microban or Biofresh.